The pic. above is the planet Jupiter seen from the new James Webb Space Telescope. Jupiter is the very bright “star” that shines in the east/east-southeast in the evening right now. This past Monday (Sept. 26), Jupiter reached what astronomers call “opposition”. Opposition happens when an astronomical object rises in the east as the Sun sets in the west, placing the object and the Sun on opposite sides of Earth. Since Jupiter is outside of Earth’s orbit, this means we are looking at a full Jupiter (like a full moon).
Jupiter’s opposition occurs about every 13 months. This month, Jupiter is closer to the Earth than it has been at any time since 1963 (59 years ago). This week Jupiter will be approximately 367 million miles from Earth.
In the pics. you can see “Great Red Spot“, a storm that has been raging for hundreds of years. Winds in the spot have been estimated to climb to over 260 mph.
The above picture is Europa – a moon of Jupiter. This picture was taken by the Juno Spacecraft and was released Thursday 9 29 22. The picture shows an area near the moon’s Equator. The image was captured during the solar-powered spacecraft’s closest approach, on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 5:36 a.m. EDT), at a distance of about 219 miles (352 kilometers). The spacecraft had only a two-hour window to collect data, racing past the moon with a relative velocity of about 14.7 miles per second (23.6 kilometers per second).
Europa is the sixth-largest moon in the solar system, slightly smaller than Earth’s moon.
Right now, our moon is a crescent in the evening sky. Friday evening, the star just below and to the right of the moon is the star Antares. Venus is pretty much lost in the glare of the sun now – kind of moving aside to let Jupiter have his moment. Saturn is visible, moving from SE to SW during the night and Mars rises in the east around 11 pm and is visible during the middle-late night.